Mens sana…good food for healthy minds and bodies

Following the completion of a new purpose-built area, Food Technology is being introduced at QE for the first time. It will be part of the wider Technology curriculum that is taught to boys in Years 7-9.

The aim of the course is to develop basic cooking skills, increase knowledge of nutrition and enable pupils to make increasingly informed decisions about diet and health.

“This will be the first opportunity for many of the boys to participate in cookery,” said Head of Technology Simon Vincent. “The new food facilities will offer pupils the chance to learn what is, in fact, an essential life skill. In today’s busy times, it can be difficult for parents to find time to teach their children to cook from raw ingredients. Ready-made meals and sauces are ever-more prevalent, but studying Food Technology will give pupils the knowledge to choose foods that are nutritious and healthy and give them the practical skills to prepare them safely.”

During the first year of the Food Technology course, pupils will acquire familiarity with working with a range of kitchen equipment, including the safe use of vegetable knives. They will learn how to: prepare a range of fresh ingredients; weigh and measure ingredients accurately, and how to use the oven safely. They will then progress to use electric hand tools, a cook’s knife, and the grill and hob. By the end of the course, pupils will also be able to make dough and pastry and a range of sauce bases.

Alongside cooking skills, pupils will also develop their ICT skills, using computers to research recipes, analyse nutritional content, plan meals and scale ingredients for different numbers of people.

There are plans for extra-curricular food clubs to be started later in the year. “The initial focus for these will be on the Sixth Form,” said Mr Vincent. “We feel it’s important to offer the boys who will be leaving in a year or two’s time the food skills they’ll need for university survival. Definitely no tins of beans in sight!”